[Cooking with Her Excellency, Turkey] A dish based on colors, elements and for health

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[Cooking with Her Excellency, Turkey] A dish based on colors, elements and for health


Chef Hwang Nam-yeon

Q. Why did you choose this dish?

A. Going way back, we Koreans have frequently used five colors - green, red, yellow, white and black - in our everyday lives.

The traditional hues are based on the philosophy of Eum-Yang Ohaeng, the principle that the universe is based on yin, yang and the five primary elements of fire, water, wood, metal and earth.

Also since green represents spring, red represents summer, white represents autumn and black represents winter, I have chosen white fish rolls for today’s cooking to wish Her Excellency a healthy New Year.


Eoseon, white fish rolls

What do you think of this Turkish dish?

This is my first time tasting Turkish food besides kebabs. The yogurt sauce was novel, and I think the sour-spicy flavor from the chili sauce melded well together with the dumplings. Manti seems rather similar to Italian ravioli, even more so than mandu.

How do manti and eoseon work together?

Eoseon has long been considered a Korean plate served to very special guests, due in part to the hard work it requires.

I assume manti also has a welcoming meaning, which is why I thought the two menu items would be a good pair.

What other Korean food items do you think would go well with the Turkish manti?

It's my first time tasting manti, so I'm not sure, but I think the similarity it has with the Korean mandu would make the two taste quite well with each other.

*Interview with chef Hwang Nam-yeon from the Chinese section of the Asian Live restaurant at InterContinental Seoul Coex

Eoseon, white fish rolls

1 skinless, boneless filet of white fish, preferably snapper or cod, weighing about 200 grams (7 ounces) / Nokdu nongmal garu (mung bean starch flour)

Fish seasoning: ½ teaspoon saenggangjeup (ginger juice) / 1 teaspoon white wine / ½ teaspoon white pepper / ½ teaspoon table salt

Vegetable filling: 1 cucumber, about 100g / 1 carrot, about 50g / 1 red bell pepper / 2 eggs / ¾ teaspoon olive oil

Mushroom filling: 2 shiitake mushrooms, dried /1 tablespoon soy sauce / 1 teaspoon sugar / 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Soy dipping sauce: ½ tablespoon white vinegar / 1 tablespoon soy sauce / ½ tablespoon sugar / 1 pinch kkaesogeum (sesame salt)

Equipment:Gimbal (bamboo mat used for making rice rolls) / cheesecloth

Serves 1

1. Place mushrooms in a bowl of warm water to rehydrate.

2. To make fish seasoning, combine salt, saenggangjeup, wine and white pepper. Evenly coat filets in seasoning.

3. Separate 2 eggs and whisk yolks and whites. Cook each separately until golden brown but not crispy. Cut the white into thin strips about 3 millimeters (1/10th of an inch) thick.

4. Cut the yolk into a rectangle about the size of the filet.

5. Slice both cucumber and carrot into five strips about 3 millimeters (1/10th of an inch) thick. Remove excess moisture with a dry towel and sprinkle both with salt. Coat a small pan with ¼ teaspoon olive oil and saute the carrots. Repeat with cucumbers. Set aside.

6. Dice red pepper and saute with ¼ teaspoon olive oil.

7. Remove mushrooms from water and squeeze dry. Dice and combine with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Mix together and fry in a small pan. Set aside.

8. Place the bamboo mat on a cutting board and cover with a piece of wet cheesecloth. Lay the fried yolk on the cheesecloth and dust with starch flour. Arrange the filets on top of the fried yolk, and then add the carrots, cucumbers, peppers and mushrooms on top. Roll the mat up and over the fillings, starting from the side nearest to you, as with a gimbap (seaweed roll).

9. Put the roll, still covered in cheesecloth, in a steamer and cook for about 10 minutes.

10. While the roll cooks, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and kkaesogeum to make the dipping sauce.

11. Remove the roll and allow to cool. Cut into rounds about 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) thick.

12. Serve with dipping sauce in a small dish on the side.
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